Monday, August 31, 2009

500 miles

The half marathon pushed me over the edge . . .

I should get another 100 miles or so by the time I finally wrap the Top of Utah marathon up on Sept. 19th. We'll see what happens to my running motivation after that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Four years aplenty

Here's a toast to spending four years with the classiest, most beautiful, fun, smart, and amazing girl I know! We've only just begun . . .

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

July books

The Crystal City
Orson Scott Card

The last book (so far) in the Alvin Maker series, I thought this was the least entertaining and intriguing of the series. All of the ideas seem like they are being rehashed from previous books and there is not much new stuff here. Supposedly, there is another book in the works, but it's been 6 years since The Crystal City's initial release. Hopefully it's taking so long because the author is trying to create some new, fresh ideas. Or maybe he's realized that this series is already overdone, and he doesn't want to continue beating the dead horse.

The Lightning Thief
Rick Riordan

Deidra got this book from the library after hearing good things about it. She had heard that some kids like this series better than Harry Potter. I liked the premise of the book - that the ancient Greek and Roman gods and goddesses are real and have moved along with Western civilization, so that they reside now in America. That mashing of ancient traditions in the modern world had great potential. But the author is too formulaic in his storytelling and the book parallels Harry Potter in so many ways (a "chosen one" who has to go off to a special school, and goes on a quest with his goofy friend and a really smart girl, only to find out that an ancient evil is threatening to come back, etc.) that I would say that there's not a whole lot of originality in the book. It was entertaining enough, but I wasn't too impressed.

Give 'Em the Pickle
Bob Farrell

Now that I have a full-time job developing and presenting training programs, you'll probably see a lot more business-style, motivational books (like Gung Ho last month) pop up on my list. This book was written by the founder of Farrell's Restaurants and Ice Cream Parlors. It is a fun and interesting treatise on customer service. The title comes from a story where he received a letter from a regular customer who was upset that he asked for an extra pickle one day (like he usually did) and was charged extra for it. So Mr. Farrell's mantra for customer service became "Give 'em the pickle!" In other words, make the customer happy. He tells some great story and makes some valid points about how to be successful in customer service.